I believe everyone has a calling or purpose for being here.
We may have multiple callings over the span of a lifetime and most of us feel restless and unfulfilled if we are not doing them. I have especially witnessed that as we reach our 40’s and 50’s it seems to become increasingly uncomfortable if we are not living our life in alignment with our deeper purpose. It is as if, on some level, we know we are running out of time to do what we came here to do.
A calling isn’t necessarily a job or career, although it may take that form. From what I can see, a calling is a deep yearning of our soul to express our gifts and talents and to be of some kind of service to others.
It is the rare person who knows at a young age that they are meant for a certain calling, yet I have heard some say, “I knew as a kid I was supposed to be a teacher, a doctor, a writer,” etc.
I am currently reading the popular book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and the author of that book describes how she was obsessed with tidying up her family’s home as a very young child. She would buy housekeeping magazines and search for the tips on organizing and decluttering as a young schoolgirl and has now created a flourishing career in Japan as the leading expert in her field.
She’s one of the lucky ones. Most of us muddle through life doing what is expected and required of us and are fortunate if we end up expressing our true talents and gifts. Our school system, socialization and parents, as well meaning as they may be, often steer us away from what lies in our hearts and teach us to listen to rational thinking and logic which rarely lead us to our true calling.
The answers to life’s biggest questions do not come from our rational minds.
I work as a therapist and life coach in one of the most intellectual areas of the country. My office is in the neighborhood of Brown University and many of my clients are Brown grad students and faculty.
I am constantly hearing my clients say how they have to “figure out” some major crossroads in their life and I have to gently remind them that if they could “figure it out” they would have done so by now. The answers are not in the mind. My clients often look dubious when I tell them this, but since they feel confused and stuck, sometimes they will listen and be willing to try another way.
The answers to life’s bigger questions lie in our heart and soul.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post titled, The Highest Divine Blueprint for Your Life is Already Written, in which I reference a conversation by Marianne Williamson on this subject. She said when we are born the divine blueprint for our life is already written. Our job is to be willing to remove the blocks to receiving the information or guidance. We remove the blocks by facing and overcoming our fears, practicing forgiveness and being a loving person.
I often recommend to clients that they cultivate a practice of silence in which they can tap into this deeper inner wisdom that connects with their soul and carries the answers to their profound life questions. This is where the answers lie. This takes practice because we are going against our life long conditioning that the mind reigns supreme. As we quiet down and listen we receive the inner whispers that say,” go here, do this, not that…”
This can freak the mind out.
I have seen it countless times. I often lead clients through a mediation in my office in which they can quite easily get guidance on a next step. I have seen clients get a clear answer to a profound question and look completely at peace and then 30 seconds later talk themselves out of it! This is the power of the ego-mind to want to be in control. The ego is just trying to protect us, but we need to not let it be in complete control.
Oftentimes, our best decisions are made when we combine the wisdom of our hearts with the logic of our minds. They can learn to work together as a team. We have simply forgotten or never been taught to integrate the two. Our culture is heavily weighted to honor the mind which leads many of us off our path or calling. If this has happened to you, be compassionate and loving with yourself. You are not alone.
However, it is not too late if you find yourself floundering in finding your calling. A good friend of mine started her master’s degree in nutrition at age 57. A mentor therapist of mine didn’t become a therapist until her 50’s and later went on to write a popular book, become well know in her area of expertise in her 60’s and practiced as a therapist until her late 70’s.
Go inside and listen to the quiet voice that is waiting for you. Get help from a trusted guide or coach. This area is often a blind spot for us and we need help navigating the terrain. Start now. A life is a beautiful thing to waste…